Generally your self-concept or self-image is based on what the NLP world calls our ‘internal representations’. We generally have a set of images in our mind of who we are and who we are not. We have a story we tell ourselves, or a bunch of them all tied together, that are on replay like background music reminding you of who you are.
Alongside that you have a set of familiar emotions and thoughts and sensations that anchor you into feeling 'like' you so you know when you are or are not 'being 'you'. All these visual, auditory, kinaesthetic representations, establish our self-concept-self image and essentially define the idea of "I" and the ego. So for instance if you take someone who is on the conservative side in their attitude or movements and invite them out to a rave, they will likely respond saying ‘Oh no , I can’t do that. That’s not me’.
Basically the whole set of sensations related to raves is outside of the sensations which they define their TRUE self or self concept. It’s not that they literally can’t engage in a rave, they just don't feel it matches their most familar self and therefore don't identify with those behaviours and physical sensations.
They can’t see themselves as someone comfortable with that style of dance, so their internal voice/ego pops up and says ‘that’s not me’. They’ve limited themselves by thinking that the new behaviour conflicts with their self image. Saying something is not 'me' is generally a recipe for limiting your self and for not learning anything new that helps you to grow and upgrade your self-concept.
If we take the NLP approach to this situation we can just notice how identifying who you are or who you are not is not static...it is just a series of internal representations. This is freeing and empowering because if we dissociate from those representations, e.g. become separate from the pictures in your head, separate from the internal voice narrating who you are, and separate from the sensations of your body, then you become the observer.
Now you can just watch...watch and observe your internal images in your head, observe your own story and internal dialogue, and observe your body, its sensations by mentally stepping away from all of it.
At this moment you are liberated from your fixed ego consciousness and you can be freed up to ask ‘if I am not these sensations, ideas, images, stories, then who’ am I and furthermore,...who is observing right now or what?’
Here is the gold of eternal soul consciousness...your mind will throw up another set of ideas or thought as to who the observer is and you’ll observe that it’ll be just another set of ego layers and representations.
If you keep practicing this state of expanded consciousness you will basically have the effect similar or looking into an infinitude of mirrors. It is endless. You will get to the point that there is only a continual observing of your endless string of internal representations, and what’s left is that you are ... consciousness...you are just soul. Instead of saying I am this or that you end in I AM.
This is what meta consciousness or soul consciousness is about which is basically a process of becoming conscious of being conscious. Like if you happen to be driving and realise although you’ve been driving, YOU haven’t actually been aware because you consciousness was elsewhere.
What part of you became aware that you weren’t being aware? And what we’re really talking about here, and what you were talking about, is actually that ... how do I remove myself to the point of being an observer of the observation that I am making. This is the only way we can truly practice inner watchfulness and gain control over ego consciousness.
In doing this we start to realise that our external self - the way that we appear, the way that we conduct ourselves - all of it need to match up with our truest essence = we must be congruent, We are all here to become more true to inner self - our soul. So in summary, my view is that life is all about that quest for soul congruency, Our outer life should reflect our inner world but most people are biopolar in that respect! They are one person at home, another at work and another around friends. The aim is to strip back all the layers that are not aligned so that we can finally stand solid in being who we are no matter what context in life. We must own our true self and aim only to become more aligned to the light of your soul.